Anaheim Ducks Require a Change in Team Culture and Identity

Anaheim Ducks head coach Dallas Eakins Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Anaheim Ducks head coach Dallas Eakins Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports /
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Anaheim Ducks
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – DECEMBER 22: The New York Rangers and the Anaheim Ducks salute Micheal Haley #38 and Nicolas Deslauriers #20 (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

Learning From Two Rebuilding Teams

Now for the Anaheim Ducks…

"“This team has to create an identity. We don’t have one right now, and we’ve got to find one.” – Bob Murray upon hiring Dallas Eakins"

The Ducks management team is probably a little too old school to buy into vernacular like “culture,” though General Manager Bob Murray has mentioned identity. If the identity of a team is to know what that team is and how it may be differentiated from others, then the culture is the underlying driving force for that identity.

One has to look at the Buffalo Sabres to see what is clearly a poor culture within the team. Their marquee player has a history of being a malcontent and has routinely thrown his coaches under the bus. More recently he’s been extremely outspoken about his treatment of a herniated disc in his neck.

He wants to undergo the surgical option, whereas the medical staff within the team have advised a conservative approach. It’s worth noting that ~90% of cervical herniations are treated conservatively. Perhaps Jack Eichel is in that other 10% and perhaps not.

The issue is that the player doesn’t trust the franchise and that he’s publically derided them. Outgoing players like Eric Staal and Taylor Hall have also spoken about how poor the internal framing of the Buffalo team is, since their trades out of town.

Typically speaking, as with all things sports, perception, whether legitimately true or not, will inevitably become reality. In most cases, winning teams have a good culture, and losing teams have a bad culture. Like the sun rises each morning, so the narrative goes with culture.

How does the Anaheim Ducks culture match with that of the Brooklyn Nets? How does their perceived rebuild compare to that of the New York Rangers? Both the Rangers and the Nets are in different places in their respective rebuilds, yet there are certain similarities that can be taken from both.